Health professionals’ and patients’ perspectives on pelvic floor muscle training adherence

Helena C. Frawley, Doreen McClurg, Aishath Mahfooza, Jean Hay-Smith, Chantale Dumoulin

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Aims: There is scant information on pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT) adherence barriers and facilitators. A web-based survey was conducted (1) to investigate whether responses from health professionals and the public broadly reflected findings in the literature, (2) if responses differed between the two groups, and (3) to identify new research directions. Methods: Health professional and public surveys were posted on the ICS website. PFMT adherence barriers and facilitators were divided into four categories: physical/condition, patient, therapy, and social-economic. Responses were analyzed using descriptive statistics from quantitative data and thematic data analysis for qualitative data. Results: Five hundred and fifteen health professionals and 51 public respondents participated. Both cohorts felt ‘‘patient-related factors’’ constituted the most important adherence barrier, but differed in their rankings of short- and long-term barriers. Health professionals rated ‘‘patient-related’’ and the public ‘‘therapy-related’’ factors as the most important adherence facilitator. Both ranked ‘‘perception of PFMT benefit’’ as the most important long-term facilitator. Contrary to published findings, symptom severity was not ranked highly. Neither cohort felt the barriers nor facilitators differed according to PFM condition (urinary/faecal incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, pelvic pain); however, a large number of health professionals felt differences existed across age, gender, and ethnicity. Half of respondents in both cohorts felt research barriers and facilitators differed from those in clinical practice. Conclusions: An emphasis on ‘‘patient-related’’ factors, ahead of ‘‘condition-specific’’ and ‘‘therapy-related,’’ affecting PFMT adherence barriers was evident. Health professionals need to be aware of the importance of long-term patient perception of PFMT benefits and consider enabling strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 12 Aug 2015


  • adherence
  • health professionals
  • patients
  • pelvic floor muscle training
  • questionnaire
  • survey


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